LITTLE FERRY, N.J. — After lifelong friend Shannon Forde of Little Ferry died earlier this month, Gabrielle Ryan sought to help the husband and two children she left behind.
So she's raising money for John Forde and sons Nicholas and Kendall through her family's charity, The Daniel P. Ryan Foundation.
Ford, a New York Mets official who was a pioneer for women in baseball public relations, was 44 when she succumbed to breast cancer on March 4 .
"She was such a sweet and beautiful person, and neither she nor her family deserved what has happened," Ryan said. "Through our foundation we want to do what we can to help make it easier for her family."
The nonprofit "Daniel P. Ryan Foundation" was launched in 1995 when Ryan's brother-in-law, Daniel, died of leukemia at 26.
The Ryan family and their friends have since raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help families struck by cancer and other serious diseases.
The foundation chooses whom to sponsor based solely on referrals. Forde's family was a no-brainer, Ryan said.
"Shannon was a one-of-a-kind person," she said. "Many people loved her.
"It is not going to be easy to move on."
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